In the more than eight years of bombing the civilians of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Ukraine has committed untold numbers of war crimes. These include bombing residential areas, markets, hospitals, schools, parks—including with prohibited heavy weapons and banned cluster munitions—and, since late July, raining banned “Petal” mines down on populated civilian areas, including the very center of Donetsk, including as recently as September 7.
A lesser-known war crime is Ukraine’s routine targeting of ambulances, fire trucks, medics and rescuers, and their headquarters and stations. Many of the times Ukraine bombs such heroic rescuers, it is when they are on the way, or already on site, to help civilians often themselves just bombed by Ukraine.
On August 21, Ukrainian shelling of the DPR’s Gorlovka wounded twelve, including five firefighters.
The day prior, Ukrainian shelling targeted an ambulance station in the LPR’s Lysychansk, wounding several and damaging some of the ambulances.
On June 23, the Kievskiy District of Donetsk came under repeated shelling over the course of the two hours I was visiting the Emergency Services headquarters there. On the grounds, I saw the remnants of a “Hurricane” missile from a previous Ukrainian attack.
After the August 20 car-bomb assassination of Darya Dugina, the daughter of a Russian ultranationalist political philosopher, US media outlets quickly branded the 29-year-old as an agent in Russia’s “disinformation war.” Rather than treating her as a member of the civilian press, they seemed to downplay her death as a casualty of war.
CNN (8/27/22) ran an article to this effect, failing to characterize her murder as an assassination, instead stating Dugina was “on the front lines” of Russia’s war effort, linking her to “Russia’s vast disinformation machine.” NPR (8/24/22) reported that Dugina was a “Russian propagandist” whose killing signaled the war was coming to Russian elites in their own territory. Foreign Policy (8/26/22) called Dugina a “dead propagandist” whose “martyrdom” did more to achieve her goals in death than she could have hoped for in life.
It is certainly true that during her life, Dugina, who espoused the philosophy of Russian Eurasianism, an expansionist political doctrine veiled as an objective analysis of Russian interests, had very little impact on Western audiences. This is true of most Russian journalists, despite the frequent warnings in US corporate media about the threat posed by Russian media messages. For instance, RT, often considered the foremost Russian outlet in the West, accounted for only 0.04% of Britain’s total viewing audience in 2017 (New Statesman, 2/25/22), and reached about 0.6% of the UK’s online population from February 2021 to the start of 2022—and this was before Western media platforms sharply restricted access to RT and other pro-Moscow outlets in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
Thanks to Establishment media, the sorcerer apprentices advising President Joe Biden — I refer to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jacob Sullivan and China specialist Kurt Campbell – will have no trouble rallying Americans for the widest war in 77 years, starting in Ukraine, and maybe spreading to China. And, shockingly, under false pretenses.
Most Americans are oblivious to the reality that Western media are owned and operated by the same corporations that make massive profits by helping to stoke small wars and then peddling the necessary weapons. Corporate leaders and Ivy-mantled elites, educated to believe in U.S. “exceptionalism,” find the lucre and the luster too lucrative to be able to think straight. They deceive themselves into thinking that (a) the U.S. cannot lose a war; (b) escalation can be calibrated and wider war can be limited to Europe; and (c) China can be expected to just sit on the sidelines. The attitude, consciously or unconsciously, “Not to worry. And, in any case, the lucre and luster are worth the risk.”
The media also know they can always trot out died-in-the-wool Russophobes to “explain,” for example, why the Russians are “almost genetically driven” to do evil (James Clapper, former national intelligence director and now hired savant on CNN); or Fiona Hill (former national intelligence officer for Russia), who insists “Putin wants to evict the United States from Europe … As he might put it: “Goodbye, America. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
In late July, a shocking interview with a captured Azov Battalion fighter began circulating online.
In the clip, the prisoner-of-war claimed that Oleksiy Arestovych, once a key advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, had, prior to the war, ordered his Neo-Nazi regiment (among other military units) to carry out and film “brutal murders” of captured Russian soldiers in service of an “information campaign.”
The purpose of this effort, the Azov fighter claimed, was to transmit the grisly footage to Russia in order to stoke anti-war sentiment among the population, and thus protests and upheaval.
Incendiary confessions and allegations emanating from prisoners-of-war should always be treated with intense skepticism. The likelihood they will be made under significant duress, and/or result from extensive coaching, is invariably high. Nonetheless, there are sound reasons not to reflexively discount the nameless combatant’s testimony.
While you would barely know it from Western media reporting, countless Russian soldiers have been tortured and killed in the most savage ways imaginable post-capture, each and every horrifying incident representing a grave war crime. There are numerous reports of prisoners being burnt with blowtorches and/or having their eyes gouged out before execution, and even those kept alive are frequently shot in their kneecaps to cripple them for life. Accompanying clips are voluminous, and have traveled widely.
Vladimir Putin has announced that referenda will be held in four regions of the eastern part of Ukraine whose populations will now vote on whether to join the Russian Federation, much like the Crimea referendum of 2014 which resulted in Russia’s annexation of that territory. Putin announced that 300,000 additional troops will be mobilized for the war to help facilitate this action, which is a major escalation in the conflict by any measure.
Putin also issued a stern nuclear warning that’s being hysterically spun by empire managers as a shocking and unprecedentedly bellicose threat, but if you read what he actually said it’s clear that he’s really reminding the west of the same principles of Mutually Assured Destruction that have been in place for generations, and isn’t expressing any position that western nuclear powers don’t also hold:
Nuclear blackmail was also launched. We are talking not only about the shelling of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which is encouraged by the West, which threatens a nuclear catastrophe, but also about the statements of some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO states about the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia – nuclear weapons.
To those who allow themselves to make such statements about Russia, I would like to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and for some components more modern than those of the NATO countries. And if the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff.
The citizens of Russia can be sure that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence and freedom will be ensured, I emphasize this again, with all the means at our disposal. And those who are trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the wind can also turn in their direction.
Campaigning for a northwestern Ohio congressional seat, Republican J.R. Majewski presents himself as an Air Force combat veteran who deployed to Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, once describing “tough” conditions including a lack of running water that forced him to go more than 40 days without a shower.
Military documents obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request tell a different story.
They indicate Majewski never deployed to Afghanistan but instead completed a six-month stint helping to load planes at an air base in Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally that is a safe distance from the fighting.
Majewski’s account of his time in the military is just one aspect of his biography that is suspect. His post-military career has been defined by exaggerations, conspiracy theories, talk of violent action against the U.S. government and occasional financial duress.
How Many Years Has the U.S. Been at War?
The U.S. Has Only Been At Peace For 17 Years Total Since Its Birth.
I have reproduced a year-by-year timeline of America’s wars, which reveals something quite interesting: since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 229 out of her 246 calendar years of existence as of 2022.
In other words, there were only 17 calendar years in which the U.S. did not wage any wars.
Let’s put this in perspective
- Pick any year since 1776 and there is about a 93% chance that America was involved in some war during that calendar year.
- No U.S. president truly qualifies as a peacetime president. Instead, all U.S. presidents can technically be considered “war presidents.”
- The U.S. has never gone a decade without war.
- The only time the U.S. went five years without war (1935-40) was during the isolationist period of the Great Depression.
The president of the United States has once again committed the U.S. military to direct hot war with China in the event of an attack on Taiwan, a commitment that was once again walked back by his White House handlers.
In a Sunday 60 Minutes interview, Biden was asked point-blank by CBS News’ Scott Pelley if U.S. forces would defend Taiwan from an attack by the mainland.
“Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” Biden said.
“After our interview a White House official told us U.S. policy has not changed,” Pelly narrates after the comment. “Officially, the U.S. will not say whether American forces would defend Taiwan. But the commander-in-chief had a view of his own.”
“So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir, U.S. forces, U.S. men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?” Pelley asked.
“Yes,” Biden replied.
This is by my count the fourth time the U.S. president has made such remarks in transgression of his government’s standing policy of “strategic ambiguity” on this issue only to have them walked back by administration staff.
This past May Biden said “yes” when asked by the press if the U.S. would defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese invasion, adding, “That’s the commitment we made.” A White House official later stated that the president’s comments did not reflect a change in U.S. policy.
At a CNN forum in October of last year Biden responded in the affirmative when asked by an audience member if the U.S. would intervene to defend Taiwan, and said “Yes, we have a commitment” when asked to clarify if he meant intervening against an attack from China. Again, the White House quickly clarified that “there is no change in our policy.”